At the age of five I started helping my father in the garage building model airplanes. We belonged to the LARKS (Los Angeles Radio Kontrol Society), many legends came from that club. Ken Willard, Fred Dunn (Astro Hog), Howard Bonner (servos & Smog Hog), Bob Dunham (Orbit) were some of the ones I remember and flew with. I had my own workbench in the garage and built many stick and tissue kits. There were no die cutters or lasers in the early days, I cut out the parts from a blueprinted balsa sheet or off a set of plans. During high school I found other interests and set my hobby aside. In 1998 I joined the SEFD club, brushless motors we just starting to become popular and Aveox was the motor of choice and we still used NiCad batteries.
Sometime in the mid 1980’s, computers started becoming more powerful and graphic packages were being developed. This was about the time we started using computer graphics in my wood working designs. In the late 80’s I started up Wood Forms, we was a custom furniture shop where I constructed projects for interior designers and architects. My 3D renderings became very popular with our clients, once approved they were converted into CAD drawings that we used for building our projects.
I closed down Wood Forms in late 1995 and started designing and building high-end computer workstations. With my early knowledge of CAD, I started consulting companies on how to use computers in their graphic departments. During that time I consulted with companies such as Hewlett Packard, Encad and AutoDesk. Over the next couple years I did extensive beta testing with software developers. Using AutoCad, I created drawings and rendered images that were were embedded into the firmware of large format plotters, these were used as sample plots that were included with the product. I also worked with the Yost Group developing 3DModeling software, the program was originally run in DOS called 3DStudio, later to become 3DSMax now owned by AutoDesk.
In 1999 I started working as a graphics consultant for a large engineering company. Shortly after I began working with the company, we started using radio controlled aircraft for project surveillance. A medium format film camera was installed that had a GPS data on the screen. Aerial images were taken with the GPS Lat/Long and altitude information overlaid on the image. Using these images or from Google Earth, using CAD software we overlaid them onto topo drawings to create 3D realistic photo composites. We used these presentations for master planned projects such as Sea World, San Elijo Hills and other various housing projects around San Diego County.
In 2004 I started up SureFlite with Pandy (RIP 2020, You have left behind a legacy of achievements to inspire us), I worked as office manager for about a year and decided that office work was not going to work for me. Shortly after leaving I built my first CNC router and used it to build and repair kits. A local club member asked if I could cut some foam and wanted me to cut “Shifty” which was a popular foamie from Charger RC. I told him to design his own, the YAK 54 was his choice. In 2005, the YAK became the first kit that I sold under the DWFoamies name. I created a team of 3D pilots where we continued to design and fly flat foam aerobatic airplanes. DWFoamies is still in production, cutting over 10,000 kits. Sales starting slowing down in 2015 which gave me time to venture into other areas. A friend gave me a 3DPrinter to work with, after taking it apart a few times trying to get good prints, I decided to make my own design. This is when 3DimensionalTools was born, producing a line of tools that we now call Komodo.
If you have read about the Depron shortage, it is true. Selit, the manufacturer of Depron brand foam, has communicated their intentions to quit supplying the hobby industry with consistent, high quality foam. My supplier has limited cases of Depron left, it’s hard to tell how long it will last but our days are numbered.
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Here are a few of my projects through the years-